A Depth Psychology Perspective
Being a father of two wonderful boys, I am often reminded of this most simple, yet complex question. What is my job as a Father?
Harmon Killebrew , the Hall of Fame baseball player recalled a story with his father, which reminds me of how I want my children to think of me.
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass’; ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’Harmon Killebrew
To be a father is truly a rewarding experience. My children are my friends; but I am first and foremost their father, which creates a degree of responsibility I must assume in order to raise them correctly. I believe that it is my job as a parent to assure that my children ascend to become responsible and productive adults. I also see this as a collective responsibility that seems to be slowly eroding from the social fabric of our society. Which causes me to ask, why?
If friendship is the assumed role of the parent, this is most likely caused by underlying fears. Fear is that most basic, yet primal awareness that we have to keep us safe. It creates barriers from unwanted pain. Fear urges us to avoid temporary pain at all costs in the moment; yet, this most basic emotional response often creates the means by which long term pain occurs at the expense of avoiding temporary discomfort. It is much like the person that will avoid exercise in order to avoid temporary discomfort at the expense of doing something that creates emotional and physiological health. They may feel better in the moment; but, is it worth it at the possible expense of shortening one’s life?
It is our job to give our children a means by which they can ascend. Parenting is not a passive phenomenon. It takes active involvement in your children’s life to create the means around which our psychological ascent occurs. In this podcast, we explore the means by which Daedalus attempts to curb his son’s curiosity. His passive involvement with his son Icarus only assures that his final ascent towards the fatherly sun will create the means from which his descent is guaranteed. By being passive, a child’s psychological ascent has no grounding in moral values and principles, the two primary grounding forces needed to assure grounded development.
Fellow fathers out there, take a place in your children’s development. You are much needed. Much more than what traditional media alludes to these days. Being active in your child’s life creates the means for which their ascent can be grounded in the value set needed for personal development to take place. While chasing dreams is important, they must be grounded in solid moral values. It is my fundamental belief that we all strive to be better people. We get there by taking part in the beauty and the brevity of life circumstances we are lucky enough to undertake. Give your child a chance from the start. If you do, they may just realize their dreams while you see yours unfold in practices of loving kindness that make us uniquely human.
Namaste, my friends. May blessings find you on your road to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Siddhartha: Leaving The Shadow of the Family Home – Dr. Thomas Maples – The Myth Within